top of page

| Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Conflict, insecurity, weak institutions and limited access to justice continue to pose a serious threat to sustainable development.

The number of people fleeing wars, persecutions and conflicts surpassed 70 million in 2018, the highest number recorded by the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in nearly 70 years.

In 2019, the United Nations recorded 357 murders and 30 enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists in 47 countries.

On the other hand, the birth of about one in four children worldwide under the age of 5 is never officially registered, depriving them of legal proof of identity, which is crucial for the protection of their rights and for access to justice and social service services.


Human rights are crucial to shaping the response to the pandemic. Respecting human rights in times of crisis, we will build more effective and inclusive solutions for today's emergency and tomorrow's recovery.

Human rights put people at the center of the debate. Responses influenced and respected by human rights produce better results in the fight against the pandemic, guaranteeing health for all and preserving human dignity.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations urged governments to be transparent, responsive and accountable​​ in its response to COVID-19 and to ensure that any emergency measures are legal, proportionate, necessary and non-discriminatory. “The best response is one that is proportionate to the immediate threats while protecting human rights and the rule of law,” he said.

To focus on the 'real struggle', UN Secretary General António Guterres has called for a global ceasefire in an attempt to urge warring parties around the world to lay down their arms in support of a larger battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 2 million people signed the online petition in favor of the ceasefire demanded by the Secretary General. You can sign here. 

United Nations peacekeeping missions continue to fulfill their mandates while assisting countries in their response to the coronavirus, which is governed by four main objectives: protecting United Nations personnel and their ability to continue activities essentials; help contain and mitigate the spread of the virus by ensuring that UN personnel are not a vector of contagion; support national authorities in their response to COVID-19; and continue to fulfill its core mandates.

The Office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has strengthened health, water, sanitation and hygiene services to protect refugees and displaced people, and works with governments to ensure that people forced to flee in preparedness and response from COVID-19.


| Notable Data  


  • Among the institutions most affected by corruption are the judiciary and the police

  • Corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost about $1.26 trillion a year for developing countries; this amount of money could be used to help those living on less than $1.25 a day over $1.25 for at least six years.

  • 73% of children under 5 years of age were registered, but only 46% of sub-Saharan Africa registered their births.

  • Approximately 28.5 million school-age children out of school live in conflict-affected areas

  • The rule of law and development are significantly interrelated and mutually reinforcing, making them essential for sustainable development at the national and international levels.

  • The proportion of prisoners held without conviction has remained almost constant over the past decade, at 31% of all prisoners.

| Goal 16

16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates worldwide

16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children

16.3 Promote the rule of law at national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all

16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit arms and financial flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen goods, and combat all forms of organized crime

16.5 Significantly reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms

16.6 Create responsible institutions​​ effective and transparent at all levels

16.7 Ensure the adoption at all levels of inclusive, participatory and representative decisions that meet needs

16.8 Expand and strengthen the participation of developing countries in global governance institutions

16.9 By 2030, provide access to a legal identity for everyone, in particular through birth registration

16.10 Guarantee public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national laws and international agreements

16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, to build at all levels, especially in developing countries, the capacity to prevent violence and fight terrorism and crime

16.b Promote and apply non-discriminatory laws and policies in favor of sustainable development

bottom of page